The coronavirus has put a kink in the release of some of this year’s most hotly anticipated new vehicles. Here’s our rundown of the delays.
The coronavirus has changed not only how cars are sold, but also how manufacturers market them. Normally, new models debut at the world’s major auto shows, but those are getting canceled or postponed and with them the release of new cars. While the Geneva Auto Show chose to move ahead digitally (to mixed results), the bulk of auto show slated for the spring have been pushed back, including those in New York, Beijing, and Detroit.
In recent years, some manufacturers have been skipping auto shows or bypassing them altogether, feeling their own marketing efforts are sufficient for promoting their new vehicles. That theory could get tested in the months to come. Most manufacturers, however, are choosing to wait out the virus rather than risk their investments (in time and dollars) by debuting new vehicles without the platform of an auto show or the attention of an eager public.
It’s not just auto shows themselves, either. With plant closures and shifts in production to making medical supplies, many new vehicle projects have been put on hold. Below is our list of delayed vehicle debuts and production postponements.
GM’s stable will see many delays with mid-generation updates to the GMC Terrain, Chevy’s Traverse and Equinox, the Silverado and Sierra pickups, as well as the Bolt and Camaro. The seldom seen Corvette C8 won’t be getting any additional versions this year either.
Cadillac too is delaying their CT4-V and CT5-V Blackwing variants by six months. The debut of the new Lyriq electric SUV has also been pushed back. No word on whether the new electric Hummer will experience the same fate. GM has pledged that despite low gas prices and delays in production, the coronavirus outbreak, and its knock-on effects, won’t be derailing their push toward electrification.
The much-anticipated return of the Bronco had been slated for April, but will have to wait, probably until the rescheduled Detroit Auto Show (now tentatively targeted for June). The release of the Mach-E electric SUV is currently still on target for the fall.
Updated versions of the Volkswagen Golf and the Audi A3 got their chance to shine during the digital version of the Geneva Auto Show, but, with plant closures in Germany, getting the new cars to market will be delayed.
Sadly (mostly just for car journalists), Porsche canceled its media test drives for the new 911 Turbo S. A car which is, for the record, the absolute bee’s knees.
It also sounds like we are going to have to wait even longer for Rivian’s R1T electric pickup to finally launch. Production on the R1T had been planned for December of this year but has now been pushed into 2021. Rivian’s plant in Normal, Illinois, is also planned to assemble their R1S electric SUV as well as a new fleet of delivery vehicles for Amazon and an electric SUV for Lincoln. These project too may be forced to alter their production schedules.
It’s important to note that all these delays are necessary, not just for the safety of factory workers, salespeople, and customers, but from a business standpoint. Manufacturers are hedging against overproduction by delaying new releases and waiting for economic activity to pick back up.
It’s hard to know what the landscape will look like going forward. But one thing the automotive sector has going for it are a whole lot of hotly anticipated new cars. That’s good news for car bloggers, car fans, manufacturers, and, hopefully, for the economy as a whole.